Accenture PLC (ACN): Today's Featured Diversified Services Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Accenture ( ACN) pushed the Diversified Services industry lower today making it today's featured Diversified Services laggard. The industry as a whole closed the day down 1%. By the end of trading, Accenture fell 68 cents (-1%) to $65.95 on average volume. Throughout the day, 2.6 million shares of Accenture exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of three million shares. The stock ranged in price between $65.95-$66.95 after having opened the day at $66.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $66.63. Other companies within the Diversified Services industry that declined today were: PFSweb ( PFSW), down 22.2%, Acquity Group Ltd ADR ( AQ), down 13.8%, American Public Education ( APEI), down 8.6%, and Quad/Graphics Inc. Class A ( QUAD), down 7.5%.
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Accenture plc operates as a management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company worldwide. Accenture has a market cap of $43.87 billion and is part of the technology sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.9, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 29.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 14 analysts that rate Accenture a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and eight rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Accenture as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front, American Learning ( ALRN), up 29.1%, World Energy Solutions ( XWES), up 14%, Cambium Learning Group ( ABCD), up 11.1%, and Cenveo ( CVO), up 10%, were all gainers within the diversified services industry with Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group ( DTG) being today's featured diversified services industry leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the diversified services industry could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the diversified services industry could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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